STORIES: South Sudan: the borders war
Sudan Border War: the bombing campaing in South Kordofan
This war is nothing more than the backwash of the war thar involved the country from 1983 to 2005, which caused almost two million victims, with government troops on one side, and on the other, the Sudan People's Liberation Army. A clash which was intensified after the coup of Omar al-Bashir in '89, and ended with a peace agreement that led to the referendum on 9 July 2011, the day of the Independence of South Sudan. Three regions between the two states, rich in oil and minerals, remained in a kind of limbo: the regions of the Blue Nile, Darfur and South Kordofan.
Very soon after the election of Haroun, the Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir – who is also being sought by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity – ordered the Sudan People’s Liberation Army North (SPLA-N), consisting mainly of people of Nuban ethnicity, to either lay down their arms or leave their homeland.
This was contrary to the peace agreement which required Sudan to integrate the rebel army with government forces over a brief period of some months. The SPLA-N and its volunteer army made up of merchants, shopkeepers and peasant farmers refused to disarm and began fighting for political reform.
Sudan’s army conducted an aerial campaign of destruction of property using Antonov Tranport planes adapted for bombing. Many witnesses also report the use cluster bombs, looting and house to house killing, randomly targeting the Nuban and pro-SPLA-N supporters across South Kordofan. Civilians fled to caves in the Nuba Mountains to avoid the aerial bombardment. Humanitarian aid organizations pulled out their workers and the government of Sudan banned journalists from entering the region.
The conflict exploded in 2011 between the Khartoum government and the rebel army SPLA-N, and involved more than 700,000 people, creating 400,000 IDPs (internally displaced refugees) of which 68,000 have reached the Yida refugee camp, in South Sudan.
Nowadays there is no reliable data on the number of people who have lost limbs, or been physically affected in other ways, since the war began in the Nuba Mountain region in June of 2011. Some people are injured or killed by shrapnel, others detonate unexploded rockets and bombs hidden just beneath the ground accidentally.
To this day it remains illegal for NGOs to work in the field and for journalists, both national and international, to report on the rebellion taking place in the Nuba Mountains.